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Consultation Report on Access to Buildings for Disabled

Hon Tariana Turia
Minister for Disability Issues

7 August 2014

PR: Consultation Report on Access to Buildings for Disabled Responsive

The Minister for Disability Issues says the consultation report on Access to Buildings for People with Disabilities reflects the voice of the disabled community, is responsive to their needs and recognises that for a society to be fully inclusive, then disabled people must be treated as equal participants.

“I am pleased that this report has taken in the view of those who live with disability and recognised their right to access buildings and thereby are better able to participate in their communities. An accessible building means that those with a disability can use it in the same way as anyone else. That includes the route to the building, the route through the building and the usability of the facilities within the building,” says Minister Tariana Turia.

“Everyone of us at some stage of our lives benefits from facilities designed for the disabled. Whether we are parents with toddlers and babies in pushchairs, elderly or injured and needing assistance with the use of a walking frame or wheelchair or temporarily using crutches.”

“We have made so much progress with two key approaches developed by the disability community to improve their lives. The Enabling Good Lives approach means that those with disability are able to make their own decisions about how they will lead their lives, what services they need and how they should be delivered. The Be.Accessibleapproach is another initiative driven by the disabled community with the key goal of creating a truly accessible country for us all. We must continue to build on these two approaches by ensuring that entry in to buildings is accessible to all.”

“We know that introducing regulations that ensure adequate and safe access will be challenging. But it is clear if we do not have laws that ensure accessibility for everyone – then those who deliberately look for loopholes in the system will continue to do so.”

“I commend the report for highlighting issues that impact on accessibility and for raising key issues that must now be addressed to make the changes necessary for inclusive accessible buildings."

"As a result of the concerns being raised, and the Building Act and Building Code being reviewed, we can now be confident at a greater focus on accessibility. I would like to acknowledge all those who live with disability for contributing to this review," says Mrs Turia.

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